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Polluted air? There's an app for that

Network World | Jun 16, 2015

Developed by Microsoft Research Asia, the weather app focuses on air pollution, which is a big problem in China.

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How bad is the air pollution today? There's an app for that and if you live in China, you might need it.

Developed by Microsoft Research Asia, the weather app focuses on air pollution, which is a big problem in China. It provides real time data on air quality and can predict it as far as two days in advance with 80 percent accuracy.

The data comes from the Chinese government, which has air monitoring stations across different cities. Microsoft uses that data along with weather information, car traffic and historical data to forecast future air quality levels. It can predict the air quality from 41 cities in China and it's expanding.

Although air quality apps are common in the country, Microsoft's technology attempts to offer a more complete view of the pollution picture.

Other mobile apps offer public data from local air quality monitoring stations. Microsoft's app will go further, and estimate the current air quality in each square kilometer across a city.

The app first came to Windows Phone and an Android version came out a few weeks ago. An iOS version is in the works.

With reporting by Michael Kan in Beijing, Nick Barber IDG News Service.